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niceville
02-24-2010, 01:43 PM
Industry of the month: Roofing contractors
BBB® examines industries with most activity in 2009

Pensacola, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2010) – Your Better Business Bureau Serving Northwest Florida is focusing on the industries that had the most activity last year and plans to highlight one each month in 2010. BBB hopes to proactively provide the information that so many consumers seek from BBB as the leader in advancing marketplace trust.

This month, BBB focuses on roofing contractors. As an industry, roofers received more inquiries than any other industry in northwest Florida in 2009. But unfortunately, they also ranked in the top 25 industries with complaints filed as well.

To find a reputable roofing contractor, BBB urges consumers to:

Ø Shop around. Obtain bids from several contractors. Keep specifications identical by getting the weight per square for composition shingles. This enables you to judge the quality of the materials – the heavier the weight per square, the higher the quality.

Ø Verify the business’ true identity. Get a business card and the physical location of the business. And beware “lookalike” businesses. New businesses may use a name similar to a well-established business in the area to take advantage of the reputation.

Ø Watch for scams. Beware of fly-by-night repair businesses soliciting work in unmarked trucks and requiring advance payment. And don’t succumb to high pressure techniques such as “the price is only good today.”

Ø Do your homework. Check contractors’ BBB Reliability Report free-of-charge by calling 800.729.9226 or starting with bbb.org. Ask the business for references of recent jobs they’ve completed in the area. Ask customers about their experience with the business, quality of work, time frame it took to be completed and overall satisfaction. Verify that the business has any and all required licensing. Ask for proof of both liability and workman’s compensation insurance and call the insurance company to confirm the policy is still active. If a worker is injured while doing work at your home and the business doesn’t have workman’s compensation, the injured party could come to you for compensation.

Ø Understand the contract. Before signing a contract with any business, be sure you understand and agree to all terms. If the business makes any promises verbally, be sure they are added to the written contract prior to signing. Ask the business who will be making good on the warranty: them, or the manufacturer of products. Keep a copy of the signed contract for your records.

Ø Know when to pay. Some contractors may require a deposit before starting the work. However, as a general rule, consumers shouldn’t pay more than 1/3 of the cost up front. The final payment shouldn’t be made until after the job is complete and passes any required inspections.
For additional information and advice you can trust on hiring a contractor, start with bbb.org. (http://www.bbb.org/)